WHEELING - The experienced staff at Paull and Associates have worked hard over the years to build trust with their clients - the importance of which can't be overstated when it comes to guiding people in making some of the most important decisions of their lives.
The Wheeling-based firm sees its selection by readers of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register as both the area's best real estate and insurance agency as an expression of that trust.
"We're overwhelmed," said company founder and president Lee Paull III. "We're proud of our staff, and this is a people business. It's all about people."
Photo by Ian Hicks
The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register readers have recognized Paull and Associates as the area’s top real estate and insurance agency. Pictured, from left, are Lee Paull IV, Carol Drummond, Don Bopp, Lee Paull III, June Paull, Lorri Grisell, Denise Pavlik, Sarah Dean, Erin Fonner, Bob Rote, Ruth Cook, Donna Noble, Alicia Peklinsky, Gil White and Ann Wilson. Not pictured are John Clark, Mary Kay Zitzelsberger, Patty Clark, Lisa Chesnut, Ralph Craig, Cheryl Joseph, Amy Stanley, Sharon Byrd, Alyssa Duplaga, Jennifer Paull, Stephanie Nanners, Tara Hardman and Cathy Medovic.
Paull Associates serves real estate clients in both the property sales and rental markets. On the insurance side, the company offers a variety of commercial, automobile, homeowners, flood, workers' compensation, life and health insurance policies.
Since its founding in 1981, Paull Associates - formerly known as the A.V. Wood Insurance Agency - has grown from a two-person operation into one of the area's largest insurance and real estate firms, now employing 28 people at three locations in downtown Wheeling, Glen Dale and Wellsburg.
Those employees possess a wealth of experience, helping put clients at ease as they go through the nerve-wracking process of buying a home.
"I think people have a confidence level knowing they can come in and speak to someone with a lot of knowledge," said Executive Vice President Lee Paull IV.
On the insurance side, Paull IV noted many agencies today are controlled by large, out-of-town banks, but Paull Associates is locally owned - meaning clients can walk in the door and meet with an agent face to face. Often, their clients are more than just customers - they also become friends.
"I think that's what people want today, and you don't see it a lot anymore," he said.
Another key, Paull IV added, is that the firm's employees all are independent agents - meaning they can obtain quotes from up to a dozen companies, providing clients the ability to get the best price possible.
Those qualities, he believes, are what has enabled the company to maintain its footing amid the changes of the past several years, including a tough economic recession - recovery from which is not complete, he noted - and the transformation of the local real estate market with the influx of natural gas workers.
"We believe in downtown Wheeling," Paull IV added. "As tough as it is, we believe in downtown Wheeling."